In the first instance of COVID-19 in the Navy, 26 personnel have tested positive at INS Angre, a shore-based logistics and administrative support establishment of the Western Naval Command in Mumbai.
“There has so far not been a single case of COVID-19 onboard any ship, submarine or air station,” the Navy stated.
Separately, a woman medical officer of the Army tested positive at Dehradun, taking the total count in the Army to nine.
“The detection of these COVID-19 cases is a result of meticulous contact tracing and aggressive screening/testing carried out by Western Naval Command after one sailor tested positive on April 7. All these sailors continue to remain asymptomatic and are being monitored at INHS Asvini under the care of the best medical professionals,” the Navy said in a statement on Saturday.
Since the sailor tested positive, the entire premises had been sealed off. Containment zones and buffer areas have been designated and frequent disinfection was being carried out as per protocol to contain the spread by breaking the chain of transmission, the Navy said. “Naval assets continue to be mission-deployed in three dimensions, with all the networks and space assets functioning optimally.”
Ninth case in Army
On the latest case, sources in the Army said contact tracing was being done. All primary contacts at Dehradun were under home quarantine. One officer who travelled with her had tested negative. Rest of the contacts would be tested between day 5 and 14 of contact with her,” the sources said.
While other doctors were symptomatic, as a precautionary measure, they were being quarantined at their respective stations for 14 days before they started working in hospitals, the sources added.
Of the eight positive COVID-19 cases earlier, two are doctors and one nursing assistant.
Earlier this month, in a video message to the rank and file, Navy chief Adm. Karambir Singh said the challenge was not over yet and it was only going to intensify in the days and weeks ahead. He also outlined the priorities, one of which was to ensure that operational assets, specifically ships and submarines, remained free from the virus. “It is a very difficult task because physical distancing on board ships, and especially submarines, is very tough… but physically, we will maintain the required distance of six feet,” he had stated.
Major navies across the globe such as France and the U.S., have been badly hit by the pandemic, with a large number of personnel testing positive onboard their aircraft carriers. The U.S. Navy has reported over 1,000 positive cases, mostly among personnel from four of its 11 aircraft carriers, with a majority of them onboard USS Theodore Roosevelt. In the French Navy, over 1,000 personnel have tested positive on board their sole aircraft carrier, the nuclear-powered Charles de Gaulle.
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